Brownstown tops Austin 5-1


Brownstown Central’s baseball team kept hopes for at least a share of the Mid-Southern Conference title by defeating Austin 5-1 Thursday afternoon.

The Braves (3-1 MSC, 8-2) scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie.

Brownstown’s Cristos McCormick and Austin’s Parker Bruce hooked up in a 0-0 mound duel through three innings before both pitchers gave up one run in the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, Brownstown’s Cayleb Covert was safe on a fielder’s choice, moved to second on another fielder’s choice and came home on Wyatt Steward’s single.

The score remained tied until the sixth when McCormick led off by being hit by a pitch. Levi Stahl, the only left-handed batter in the Braves’ lineup, doubled into left-center to score McCormick.

Steward hit a fly ball to center field that was dropped that allowed Stahl to score, and Ethan Fultz and Jake Pauley followed with RBI singles to close the scoring.

Braves coach Brandon Tormoehlen was pleased with the rally.

“We had to be patient tonight,” he said. “Their pitcher, a sophomore, did a really good job of keeping us off balance. Austin is always a fundamentally sound team. Matt (Bayes) does a really good job over there coaching them.”

Bayes graduated from Austin and played at Bellarmine University in Louisville.

“I had the pleasure to coach him his senior year at Bellarmine,” Tormoehlen said.

“Our guys were finally able to make the adjustments that we needed. We were able to string some good at-bats together.”

McCormick, the Braves’ sophomore right-hander, allowed just one run on six hits, he had seven strikeouts and three walks.

Tormoehlen liked his effort.

“He was solid. He got roughed up a little bit in our last outing against Eastern. We made some adjustments. He was able to work down in the zone, and he was able to get three pitches for strikes," Tormoehlen said. "Credit to him, he did a real good job working this past week to iron out some of the deficiencies he had down there at Pekin.”

Pauley had two hits and one RBI, and Stahl had a hit, an RBI and scored a run. McCormick had the Braves’ only extra-base hit, a double in the fourth.

Tormoehlen likes the progress his team has made.

“We’re 10 games in now, so we’re starting to get some experience," he said. "They’re starting to get a little of a comfort level and everything. We’ve still got a lot of work to do. We missed too many bunts tonight. We’ve got to iron some of that out. We always talk about trying to be solid in all four aspects of the game. I thought we were solid in base running and solid in pitching and defensively, for sure."

Six different Braves had at least one hit, eight of the nine Braves in the batting order reached base safely at least once and Brownstown had base runners in every inning except the fifth.

“They were able to step up and do the job,” Tormoehlen said. “Credit those guys for hanging in there, not giving in and making some good adjustments.”

The Brownstown-Trinity Lutheran doubleheader that was scheduled for Saturday has been moved to tonight, starting at 5 p.m.

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